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Barr happy to pass on No.1 tag

Sarah Black, AFL.com.au  February 9, 2018 9:56 AM

Nicola Barr at GIANTS training. - Nicola Barr,GWS Giants,AFLW,Drummoyne Oval

Nicola Barr at GIANTS training.

We are excited to be able to bring our game to a different area of Sydney. People from a different area will be able to come to the game, which is fantastic.

Nicola Barr is more than happy to allow Western Bulldog Isabel Huntington to 'own' the No.1 draft pick mantle.

The 21-year-old Barr was selected first by the GIANTS in the inaugural NAB AFL Women's Draft, in 2016.

Initially playing as midfielder, she has found her place across half-back, enjoying being able to use her pace to launch attack from defence.

But the state-based draft meant Barr was selected by the Giants as the top player from New South Wales, not necessarily the top player available. And that brought its own scrutiny.

"That title [No.1 draft pick] got tossed around a lot, and I definitely did feel the pressure," Barr said.

"If [the draft] was actually in order, like the men's is, I definitely wouldn't have been the No.1 pick.

"The pressure eased once I settled in, but it wasn't until round four or five, when the season was nearly done. I'm glad it's off this year. I am still feeling pressure to perform, but just like everyone else now.

The GIANTS may have played only one home and away game this season, a gallant six-point loss to Melbourne, but have won plenty of plaudits for their attacking game plan under new coach Alan McConnell.

"He's obviously got a wealth of knowledge in football. He's been in the football/AFL environment for a very long time and he was the first employee at the GIANTS, so he definitely knows what it's like to build a club and build it from scratch," Barr said.

"He's just a really good communicator … and he's able to explain how he wants us to play in really simple terms we all get and ensures we're all on the same page.

"He definitely is all about trust in one another and it's fantastic. I really like the fact he puts a lot of emphasis on that."

At the tail-end of an undergraduate degree in a medical science at Sydney University, Barr is starting to prepare for the GAMSAT, a national admissions test for graduate medicine studies.

Coincidentally, fellow No.1 draft pick Huntington is also planning on studying medicine in a few years.

"It's pretty funny. The GAMSAT is held only twice a year, and the March one is on the same date as the AFLW Grand Final. I don't know if I'm going to be able to sit it yet. But probably not, right? Because we'll be in the final," Barr said with a laugh.

The GIANTS take on Carlton on Friday night at Drummoyne Oval in inner Sydney, the first AFLW match held at the venue. After letting a win slip late in their match against the Blues last year, the GIANTS will be desperate to get their first win on the board.

"We are excited to be able to bring our game to a different area of Sydney. People from a different area will be able to come to the game, which is fantastic," Barr said.

"It's a gorgeous oval, a really beautiful spot. And at 7pm on a Friday night, I don't know where else you'd want to be."